Basics of Salvation
Why do we need to be baptized?
In short, we need to be baptized because the Lord told us to do it (see Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:11-13; Galatians 3:25-27; 1 Peter 3:20-21, and other passages). That should be enough for the one who wishes to do the will of God. Yet, let’s go further to try to understand more.
Aren’t we saved by the blood of Jesus? Yes! But if the blood of Jesus saves us from our sins, why do we need to be baptized? There are two statements to consider:
Jesus in Matthew 26:28, while giving instructions for the Lord’s Supper, said, “for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” He is clear about the fact that His blood was given so that our sins can be forgiven.
Now notice what Peter said in Acts 2:38 to those who wondered what to do to be saved: “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…”
The phrase, “forgiveness of sins” is the same in both passages. Is this a contradiction? Not at all. In fact, the two passages should be understood together. Let’s see how this works based on what the apostle Paul said in Romans 6:3-5.
“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
Baptism is, essentially, a reenactment of (to conform to) the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Being baptized means that we have recognized our spiritually dead condition (see Ephesians 2:1-3). Then, baptism, which is a burial (immersion) in water, is “into His death” where He shed His blood. In other words, it is in baptism where we meet the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, and wherein we are raised up to walk a new life (see also Colossians 2:11-13).
We need to be baptized because the Lord teaches that this is where we are buried “into His death” and come out with a new life. We invite you to look further into this matter, check out the passages, and weigh your decisions carefully.